KATHMANDU, Jan 19: With the announcement of the interim capitals of all seven provinces, the government has revisited its earlier decision to convene the first meeting of the provincial assemblies in Kathmandu. The maiden meetings of the provincial assemblies would now be held in the interim capitals of the seven provinces.
While works are underway in Province 2 and Province 4 to renovate buildings which have been identified as the interim workstations for the provincial assemblies, authorities in other capital cities are beginning the search for venues to be used as the workstations for the newly elected members alongside offices and residences for governors and chief ministers.
"The obligation to hold the first meeting in Kathmandu has ended with the announcement of the temporary capitals of seven provinces. The government will now pick suitable venues for the first gathering of the provincial assembly members," said Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Yagya Bahadur Thapa.
The first meeting of each provincial assembly which will administer the oath of office to the newly elected representatives will pave the way for the formation of the provincial government.
After over a month of lingering, the government on Wednesday announced the interim capitals of all seven provinces. The government has fixed Biratnagar as the capital for Province 1, Janakpur for Province 2 and Hetauda for Province 3. Similarly, Rupandehi, Surket, and Dhangadhi have been picked as temporary capitals for Province 4, 5, 6 and 7 amid widespread protest in other cities that were in a race to be the provincial capitals.
The government has already identified suitable venues to convene the provincial assembly meetings in some provinces. The first provincial assembly meeting of Province 2 is going to be held on the premise of the District Education Office in Janakpur of Dhanusha district, while the Urban Development Training Centre building has been selected as the office of the provincial assembly and the assembly secretariat of Province 4.
But the government is still struggling to find suitable venues to convene the assembly meetings in some provinces. There is the dearth of well-equipped venues in major cities outside the capital. Officials said that the problem is so serious that the government may have to occupy public venues or properties of corporations for the first meeting.
A day after the announcement of the temporary capitals of the provinces, local administration in Biratnagar, Hetauda, Dhangadhi, Butwal etc started a search for appropriate venues to be used for the office of the provincial assemblies and the assembly secretariats. They have also been searching buildings to be used as the offices and residences of the governor and chief ministers.